Skip to content
Providing support and services for more than 500 children and adults with learning disabilities and their families across Cumbria.
Carlisle MencapCarlisle MencapCarlisle MencapCarlisle MencapCarlisle Mencap - Official opening of our new Italian-made coffee machine at Doves CafeCarlisle MencapCarlisle Mencap - Independence Studio at work on their latest film about dangers of cyber crimeCarlisle Mencap

Police and Crime Commissioner and Mayor at Grace Little

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria, Peter McCall, and the Mayor of Carlisle Marilyn Bowman and her consort visited Carlisle Mencap's Independence Studio to see how the latest film is progressing.

Posted Thursday, 6th February 2020

Carlisle Mencap was delighted to welcome Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, and the Mayor of Carlisle Marilyn Bowman and her consort, husband Syd, to our Independence Studio at the Grace Little Centre on Wednesday, February 5 to see at first-hand how the studio team  and Cumbria Police have been working together to produce a film for people with learning difficulties about reducing the risk of being abused or exploited on-line.

With support from Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund, service users with learning difficulties have been working with Carlisle Mencap to find out how much people with learning difficulties understand about staying safe online.

Peter McCall said: “Involving young people from Mencap groups and giving club members the opportunity to research and help create the Think First - It's Real film that will provide easy and accessible guidance for people with learning difficulties.

“It is very important that user friendly and relevant resources, that explain how to use platforms such as Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram safely, are available for people with learning difficulties.

“People with learning difficulties often struggle to do things many of us take for granted, they may not want to ask for help, feel that they are a burden and not want to bother people. I hope this up-to-date video will help to inform and refresh some of the safety facts in way that is easy to follow and understand.”

Sheila Gregory, Carlisle Mencap's cheif executive officer, said: “We have made significant progress on this project with the help of the Community Fund and the studio members have really got involved in making the film. So far, they have been involved in storyboards, script writing, creating the sets, acting and also the filming itself.

“It’s very important that when we make a film for people with learning difficulties we involve our members in every element of the project. This way, we make sure the message is accessible to all.

“Cybercrime is a danger to all of us, especially those who may be more vulnerable. It’s really important that we create education tools like this film which will enable our members to become more resilient to this sort of crime. We are extremely grateful for the Commissioner’s commitment to support members of the learning disability community to be safer.”

Inspector Diane Bradbury from the Carlisle Local Focus team said: “Keeping safe online can be a challenge for anyone. For people with learning difficulties and carers, education around potential dangers and risks, delivered in an easily understandable way, is crucial to safeguarding people from becoming victims and also, unwittingly, perpetrators.”

THANK YOU for your support ...